After spending five weeks in Lent dealing with our sinfulness, there is a danger of overly focusing on our sins and of paying insufficient attention to the mercy and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thus, the Eastern Church includes a particular remembrance of the life of Saint Mary of Egypt during this penitential season, especially as part of the recitation of the Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete on the Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent and on the Sunday of the Fifth Week of Lent. The life of Saint Mary reminds us that all are subject to temptation and all, save Christ and the Virgin Mary, have committed sins sometimes even very grave sins. Yet even the most grievous sinner is not beyond the power of Gods forgiveness as Saint Mary of Egypt would be the first to claim. In the same way, the Church emphasizes that we too, despite our sins, have but to respond to Gods call and we too can be saved. Marys life is a model of sin, repentance, and redemption. She spent much of her life as a prostitute eager for the acquisition of many lovers, went to the holy city of Jerusalem where she repented, and spent the rest of her life seeking always to follow the will of God. In the same way, we also have acquired many lovers besides the Lord such as money, power, fame, time, and security. Lent gives us an opportunity to follow Mary to Jerusalem to witness and repent at the live saving passion and resurrection of our Lord. Having repented and been reconciled, we can also follow Marys example and dedicate ourselves to serve the Lord for the rest of our lives. Marys story also reminds us that throughout our own struggles with temptation and sin, we are blessed with the prayers and intercessions of the holy saints and angels who strive with us in our battles against evil. Foremost of these intercessors is the Most Blessed Virgin Mary who helped lead St. Mary of Egypt to redemption and will help us who turn to her as well. As we approach the Great and Holy Week of Our Lords Passion, do not despair in the face of the many temptations calling us to return to our previous way of living, rather keep in mind the life of Saint Mary of Egypt and keep praying to the Mother of our Lord.